Plotinus on logos

Lloyd P Gerson

in Neoplatonism and the Philosophy of Nature

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693719
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739019 | DOI:
Plotinus on logos

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This paper offers an interpretation of ‘y is the logos of ’ in Plotinus’ Enneads. The focus is primarily on those passages wherein x and y have ontological referents, though it also includes comments about those passages wherein x and y are used semantically or epistemologically. The thesis is that for Plotinus, anything that is the logos of anything else has derivative intelligibility. Thus, only the One is unqualifiedly self-explicable. The One is virtually all that is derived from it roughly in the way that ‘white’ light is virtually the colour spectrum. Following Plato and Aristotle, Plotinus holds that nothing in nature can be self-explicable.

Keywords: nature; ontology; virtuality; imagery; matter

Chapter.  7506 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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